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Comment: And us space bloggers feel like chumps (Score 5, Interesting) 152

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#41677395) Attached to: Alpha Centauri Has an Earth-Sized Planet

Space bloggers (like me) who are signed up with the ESO news feed got word of this overnight. But the story was under embargo. You do not break the story until the embargo lifts or the ESO and Nature magazine gets very angry at you.

But some loud-mouth in Croatia violated the embargo. We were patiently waiting for the embargo to lift, biting our collective tongues, when mouthy jumped the gun.

We got an email from the ESO about an hour ago that said:

"I just spoke to the Head of Press at Nature, Ruth Francis, and we have agreed to LIFT THE EMBARGO on the Alpha Cen story IMMEDIATELY due to an unfortunate leak. You may run your stories."

Nature and ESO lift exoplanet embargo early following coverage by Croatian news outlet

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see... (Score 1) 867

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#41369833) Attached to: Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought

No, that is not how this "warp" drive works. The drive in the original article is a variation on the Alcubierre warp drive, which only warps a bubble around the ship. It does NOT effectively change the distance between the start and destination. You can read the original paper here:

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0009013

Comment: Re:What did I tell you? (Score 4, Informative) 867

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#41369773) Attached to: Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought

No, nothing can go faster than the speed of light because it will violate causality. Which is more or less forbidden by the entirety of physics.

The only way to avoid this is by some magic-juju like Parallel Universes, Consistency Protection, Restricted Space-Time Areas, or Special Frames (with Special Frames forbidden by Relativity). All of which look like desperate hand-waving, if you examine them closely.

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/fasterlight.php#id--Causality

Comment: Re:Why solid? (Score 1) 277

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#37924762) Attached to: India To Build A Thorium Reactor

The question remains: What keeps us from building them? The fact that they do not produce waste than can be weaponized? For a nuclear power like India, perhaps that was a factor.

From a commercial power standpoint, it would have made more sense back in the 1940's to have developed thorium power reactors. Unfortunately for commercial power, back then the priority was creating large stockpiles of plutonium for the US military's nuclear weapon needs. Commercial power was only a secondary concern. So plutonium producing uranium reactors were developed instead.

Now that the cold war is over, commercial power is stuck with mature but inconvenient nuclear technology that creates unwanted plutonium. By comparison, thorium reactor technology is very immature. Lots of research money will have to be spent to bring it to maturity.

Comment: Re:Qt-based development (Score 2) 121

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#37541414) Attached to: Intel Drops MeeGo

From MeeGo merges with LiMo to form Tizen

What role for Qt?

The future of Qt in relation to Tizen is uncertain. It was not mentioned in any of today’s press releases. The Tizen website does make reference to a native development, but does not provide any further details. Instead HTML 5 is promoted as the development environment of choice and in an elastic piece of thinking is given as the reason for the need to evolve MeeGo.

However, Qt is a key component in many MeeGo related projects (e.g. part of the reference design for the GENIVI alliance for IVI devices) and, as noted above, Intel have indicated that there will be backwards compatibility with existing MeeGo netbook applications.

It seems likely that politics has a role to play here. Qt came into the MeeGo project from Nokia. Despite recent moves towards open governance, is still very much associated with Nokia. Intel were unhappy that Nokia switched to Windows Phone and the member of LiMo (including Samsung) may prefer to avoid mentioning or relying on what is perceived to be a competitor's asset.

In our opinion the likely scenario is that Qt will continue to play a major role in Tizen projects, but it will not be promoted as part of the core primary developer environment. Qt may be included as part of the default offering or it may be left to integrators to provide a version of Tizen with Qt. A possible example of how this might work in practise comes from Nomovok, who today released a press statement indicating that they would provide a version of Tizen integrated with Qt as part of their Steelrat system.

Comment: Re:Keep on with science (Score 1) 91

by Nyrath the nearly wi (#37467772) Attached to: NASA Looking To Power Spacecraft With Lasers
Yeah, right, like that's ever going to happen. The great unwashed are irrationally terrified that cell phones and wifi are causing brain cancer. How do you think they are going to react to giant solar collectors directing huge beams of freaking microwaves at the Earth? "Diabolical scientists plot to turn the planet into a microwave oven, film at eleven"

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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